What is Choking in Cats?
Choking in cats is a common emergency that happens when a foreign object becomes lodged in the airway and restricts air flow, preventing your cat from breathing normally. Cats can choke on anything, but common items that can cause choking include small toys, bones, and treats. Choking is a medical emergency, and you should seek veterinary care immediately if your cat is choking.
Signs of Choking in Cats
The signs of choking can vary depending on how severe the airway obstruction is, but some common signs include: gasping for air, open-mouth breathing, wheezing, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and turning blue from lack of oxygen. If you notice your cat displaying any of these signs, you should take them to the vet right away.
First Aid for Choking Cats
If your cat is choking and you can’t get them to the vet right away, there are some steps you can take to try and help them. First, do not put your hands near your cat’s mouth, as this can make the obstruction worse. Instead, try to use a pair of tweezers to remove the foreign object from their mouth. If you can’t find the object, or if it’s too large to remove, try to use a pair of scissors to cut it into smaller pieces that can be easier to remove.
Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Choking Cat
If you can’t remove the object with tweezers or scissors, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on your cat. To do this, place your cat on their back, and place your hands on either side of their chest. Push your hands inwards and upwards, to try and push the foreign object out of their airway. This maneuver may take several attempts before it works, so keep trying until the object is removed.
Preventing Choking in Cats
The best way to prevent choking in cats is to make sure that they don’t have access to small objects or toys that could become lodged in their airways. Keep an eye on your cat when they are playing with toys, and make sure to only give them toys that are too large for them to swallow. Additionally, keep any foods or treats that could cause choking out of reach of your cat.
When to See a Vet for Choking
If you suspect that your cat is choking, it’s important to seek veterinary care right away. Even if you are able to remove the object from their airway, your cat may have sustained damage to their throat or lungs, and they may need further treatment. Your vet will be able to assess your cat and provide the appropriate care.
Choking is a serious medical emergency in cats, and can quickly become life-threatening if not treated right away. If you suspect that your cat is choking, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Additionally, try to take steps to prevent choking in your cat by making sure that they don’t have access to small objects or toys that could become lodged in their airways.